Planting Days and Wild Flowers

April 18th, 2008

A beautiful day for planting yesterday, but awoke this morning to clouds and a chance of thunderstorms.    I’m usually an early riser, but just after 4:30 this morning my eyes opened wide with the house rattling and the bed shaking for a few seconds.  Sure enough it was a 5.2 quake on the Illinois/Indiana border.  Not often that we feel earthquakes in the midwest. Did you feel it?  The U.S. Geological Survey has an excellent site where you can explore recent earthquakes and report how it felt to you as part of the Community Internet Intensity Map.

We had a lonesome visitor near the pond yesterday morning.  A hen turkey came wandering by for a few minutes before disappearing back into the woods.

Wild turkey hen

We spent the afternoon digging holes and planting apple and pear trees.  If I can keep the deer from eating them, we might have some fruit in a few years.  My right-hand man liked taking his break in the hole he just dug.  Of course the yellow lab wants to come play too!

 Having fun while planting fruit trees

Near the woodpile from last year’s firewood, I noticed many insect borer holes appearing on a few logs. Looking more closely revealed that many Banded Ashborers had emerged.  They feed on dead or dying trees as well as cut logs.  Later a nuthatch came by and had a nice little bug dinner.

Banded Ash Borer

And the wildflowers are really coming along. We discovered a little blooming Dogtooth Violet yesterday.  Which really isn’t in the violet family, but in the lily family.  I learned it first by the name of Trout Lily.  Does anyone know why it’s called that? I don’t, but it’s a pretty little flower.

Trout Lily or Dogtooth Violet

A Bloodroot flower is almost open.


The Mayapples are almost up and in flower too.  I didn’t find any morels yet, but I’m still looking!  “Dad, why are they called May apples?  Can we eat them?”  “Uh, no, well a little white flower blooms under the umbrella of the leaves, and then it becomes a little fruit, but uh- I don’t know if we can eat it…maybe?  Let’s try and find out later…”  I’m all tired out from planting apple and pear trees and answering questions.  It was a nice day.

Mayapple plants

2 Responses to “Planting Days and Wild Flowers”

  1. I didn’t feel it in SE Iowa but some of my neighbors in town did so I’m guessing I was in my REM cycle at the time. I haven’t started looking yet for mushrooms since it has been raining almost three days now. Perhaps this weekend I’ll try if I can get around in all the mud.

  2. I was reading somewhere that if it’s too wet in some years, the morels may just grow underground more and not pop above the ground? If I don’t find ’em, that’s my story anyway…

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